In 1962 Malan married Magrietha Johanna van der Walt; the couple had two sons and one daughter.
In 1973 he was appointed as Chief of the South African Army and three years later as Chief of the South African Defence Force (SADF).
As Chief of the SADF he implemented many administrative changes that earned him great respect in military circles. During this period he became very close to P.W. Botha, the then Minister of Defence and later Prime Minister.
In July 1991, following a scandal involving secret government funding to the Inkatha Freedom Party and other opponents of the African National Congress, President FW de Klerk removed Malan from his influential post as Minister of Defence and appointed him as Minister for Water Affairs and Forestry.
On December 21, 1988 Malan was booked to travel on Pan Am Flight 103 from London to New York, as part of a South African delegation of 23 negotiators to sign an agreement at UN headquarters, whereby South Africa would cede control of Namibia and hand over the country to the UN, as demanded by the Security Council. At short notice, the whole South African delegation cancelled the booking on that flight, which crashed at Lockerbie, Scotland killing all 259 people on board and eleven people on the ground.
Malan and the other accused were bailed and ordered to appear in court again on December 1, 1995. A seven-month trial then ensued and brought hostility between black and white South Africans to the fore once again. All the accused were eventually acquitted. President Mandela supported the verdict and called on South Africans to respect it.
Malan also had to appear before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
On January 26, 2007, he was interviewed by shortwave/Internet talk radio show The Right Perspective. It is believed to be one of, if not the only, interviews Gen. Malan has given outside of South Africa.
Meet the leading contender; The judge widely tipped to preside over Jacob Zuma's corruption trial is Herbert Msimang, writes Ingrid Oellermann.(News)
Jun 19, 2006; THE identity of the judge who will preside over former deputy president Jacob Zuma's corruption trial, which kicks off in...